PopMatters home | short takes home | archives

PopMatters Music Short Takes
our brief reviews of new releases

e-mail print comment

26 August 2003

Christopher O'Riley, True Love Waits: Christopher O'Riley Plays Radiohead (Sony Classical)
Finally, something for music geeks to play while hosting fancy dinner parties. Classical pianist Christopher O'Riley's new album True Love Waits: Christopher O'Riley Plays Radiohead is sure to generate a lot of "Huh?"'s out of Radiohead fans everywhere; after all, it's never a good idea for an artist to perform a hoity-toity rendition of a rock tune. Look what Tori Amos did to Slayer's "Raining Blood", for crying out loud. However, like The Bad Plus did with their jazz version of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", O'Riley takes 15 of his favorite Radiohead tracks (he's a huge fan, apparently), and reworks them in a different setting, offering fascinating new glimpses of some supremely sublime music. He makes some very wise song choices, focusing mainly on some of the band's album tracks (although singles like "Knives Out" and "Fake Plastic Trees" do pop up), resulting in a few revelatory moments, such as on the dark "Everything in its Right Place" and "Exit Music (For a Film)", the shimmering "Black Star", and his utterly gorgeous performance of "True Love Waits", arguably Radiohead's finest song from the past three years. The CD goes a bit too far at times, as O'Riley's nearly hour-long tribute gets a bit bombastic and swaggering, but its high points make this all worthwhile, especially his stirring cover of "Karma Police", where he proves how someone who is performing within the constraints of a very formal genre can still try something new and make it work surprisingly well.
      — Adrien Begrand

.: posted by Editor 12:31 PM


In bold are PopMatters Picks, the best in new music.
Abe Duque
be your own PET
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
The Bottle Rockets
The Brand New Heavies
Johnny Cash
Slaid Cleaves
Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Cut Chemist
Miles Davis
Dinosaur Jr.
Dr. Octagon
Alejandro Escovedo
Fatboy Slim
Four Tet
The Handsome Family
Matthew Herbert
Ise Lyfe
Jefferson Airplane
Lord Jamar
Mission of Burma
Mr. Lif
Mojave 3
Allison Moorer
Paul Oakenfold
Grant-Lee Phillips
The Procussions
Corinne Bailey Rae
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Julie Roberts
Diana Ross
7L & Esoteric
Alice Smith
Snow Patrol
Sonic Youth
Soul Asylum
Sound Team
Regina Spektor
Sufjan Stevens
Matthew Sweet
Rhonda Vincent
Thom Yorke

Baby Dayliner
The BellRays
Cat Power
The Clientele + Great Lakes
The Coup + T-Kash
Mike Doughty Band
Download Festival 2006
Fiery Furnaces + Man Man
The Futureheads
The Handsome Family
High Sierra Music Festival
Billy Idol
Bettye Lavette
Love Parade
Nine Inch Nails + Bauhaus
Sonic Youth
Splendour in the Grass 2006
The Streets
Sunset Rubdown

advertising | about | contributors | submissions
© 1999-2011 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks of PopMatters Media, Inc. and PopMatters Magazine.